RALEIGH, N.C. – In response to backlash from rights groups over the passing of a law that blocks local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules which could protect gay and transgender people, North Carolina governor Pat McCroy on Saturday proposed new legislation that would give the LGBT community their own restrooms and changing facilities at both public and privately owned venues.
“What we’re proposing here is very similar to what you saw in the 50’s when blacks and whites were assigned separate bathrooms and drinking fountains,” Governor McCroy explained. “It’s a very fair proposal and, frankly, I think it’s something that folks on both sides can learn to embrace and appreciate.”
If passed, the new law would require people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender to use state-approved bathrooms and changing facilities that are, according to Governor McCroy, located “a safe distance” from facilities frequented by children and the elderly. Specifically, the law states that LGBT-only restrooms “must be stationed no less than fifty yards away from traditional facilities.”
“First and foremost, this is about protecting our children from predators,” declared Gov. McCroy, who added the LGBT-only facilities are merely the first step in a series of measures meant to keep children out of harm’s way. “In the coming months, my office will propose further legislation that, when signed into law, will require any North Carolina resident over the age of thirteen who identifies as a homosexual or transgender individual, to submit their personal information to a mandatory LGBT registry maintained by state law enforcement.”
Governor McCroy warned that failure to do so would result in a one-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine. “Again, this is only meant to ensure the safety of our children,” the governor reiterated. The North Carolina House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the legislation in late April, but a source inside the governor’s office said lawmakers may decided to call an emergency session next week to guarantee the bill passes.